Fighting between the Burma Army and forces belonging to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) resumed on Monday in Kachin State’s Mohnyin Township following the expiry of the military’s nine-month unilateral ceasefire declaration.
According to local sources, a military column belonging to Infantry Battalion 141 and Light Infantry Division 101 of the Burma Army clashed with the KIA’s Battalion 5—under Brigade 8—near Hkawng Myae village south of Indawgyi Lake at 9:00 a.m. on October 14.
“The Burma Army’s reinforcement troops have arrived in the conflict zone, so clashes are likely to occur at any time in the area,” a KIA officer from the organization’s Laiza headquarters, told KNG under the condition of anonymity.
The area is known for its gold mining and timber production.
The Burma Army declared a unilateral ceasefire in Kachin and Shan states on December 21, 2018; after multiple renewals, it expired on September 21.
Col Nhpang Naw Bu, who is in charge of the Kachin Independent Organization’s (KIO) information department, said that his organization would continue to advocate for a political solution to the civil war.
“We have ordered our forces not to attack the Burma Army if they don’t come into our area. Our military order is still in effect, even though their unilateral ceasefire has expired. It’s because we would like to seek a solution through dialogue,” he told KNG.
KIO/A officials say that they are ready to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement with the government and Burma Army, but that the move has been delayed due to discrepancies in policy between the government and military.